An educational seminar for employers, disability employment professionals,
Thursday May 3rd, 2012
9:30am – 5:30pm
Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline St. Berkeley, CA 94703
9:30 – 10:00am Meet & Greet
Refreshments are available in the atrium.
10:00 – 10:15am Introductions
Lesley Ann Gibbons, Sterling Adaptives
Based in the North Bay, Sterling Adaptives supplies the most technologically advanced equipment and software currently available for the blind or visually impaired or for those with other disabilities.
Silvana Rainey, Adaptive Technology Services
Adaptive Technology Services is a leading provider of computer technology services for people who are blind and visually impaired. Services include but are not limited to consulting, scripting, customized solutions evaluations & training.
10:15 -11:00am Keynote Speaker
Joe Xavier, Deputy Director of Specialized Services for Department of Rehabilitation
Joe Xavier has over 28 years of experience in business and public administration, as well as many years participating in advocacy and community organizations. Joe currently serves as the Department of Rehabilitation’s (DOR’s) Deputy Director for Specialized Services Division as appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on April 21, 2010. Additionally, Joe is a graduate of the California Health and Human Services Agency Leadership Academy; a fellow of the Health Leadership Program at the Sierra Health Foundation and University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development; graduate of the National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute through the San Diego State Interwork Institute, and George Washington University, and a fellow of
the Health Leadership Program at the California Institute of Mental Health and University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development.
Joe has had direct executive responsibility for a large number of the DOR programs which have included Blind Field Services, the Orientation Center for the Blind, the Older Individuals who are Blind Program, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Section, the Business Enterprises Program, the Independent Living Unit, the Assistive Technology Unit, the Disability Access Section, the Client Assistance Program, the Public Affairs Office, and the Traumatic Brain Injury Program. Joe has had direct executive responsibility with seven of the nine DOR formal advisory bodies, six which are mandated by statute.
11:00 – 11:45am Speaker
Don Brown, ADA Compliance Specialist, City of Berkeley
Don Brown has over twenty years of experience in the areas of Human Resources Administration and Disability Programs management. Don is certified as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist and as an ADA trainer with both the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Don Brown is the CEO of Access Work Systems, a Disability Programs Management consulting firm, which he founded in 2000. For the past twelve years, Don has consulted as an Expert Witness in employment cases specializing in the “Reasonable Accommodation” process. As a private Job Placement Specialist, a Human Resources professional, and a person with a disability, Don brings a unique and hands-on perspective to the fast changing and increasingly complex area of employment and disability. Don Brown is currently employed as an ADA Compliance Specialist with the City of Berkeley.
12:00 – 1:00pm Lunch
Lunches will be available for pickup in the main atrium. If the weather is good please feel free to enjoy your lunch up on the open-air deck on the top floor.
1:00 – 2:00pm Panel One: “Who, What, When and Why”
Understanding the hiring process for a person with blindness or visual impairment, and each person’s role in the process.
Philip Kum, Management Analyst, EPA
Philip Kum is a management analyst in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco office. He manages personnel programs including the Reasonable Accommodations Program, the Student Volunteer Program, the Disability Employment Program, and the Region’s Telework Program.
Philip has previous experience as a program coordinator at the LightHouse for the Blind. He is also highly involved in the growing sport of Blind Sailing.
Candace Hudson, Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator, DMV
Candace L. Hudson is the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Candace administers the Reasonable Accommodation Program to approximately 9,000 DMV employees, she acts as an advisor on DMV’s Disability Advisory Committee, and is also the Ergonomics Contracts Co-Administrator. Candace has over 30 years of state service, 20 years with DMV, and six years as the RAC.
Jeff Thom, Attorney, immediate past president of the California Council of the Blind
Born in 1953, Jeff Thom grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1975, Jeff Thom graduated from Willamette University with his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, after which he received a J.D. degree from
Stanford Law School in 1978. After working for a year as a disabilities rights attorney, Jeff began his employment with the California Office of Legislative Counsel where he worked until his retirement in 2010. In that nonpartisan capacity, he supervised the drafting of bills and the legal opinions relating to health and human services and workers’ compensation. Jeff is married, has three children, and is involved in various community activities. He is immediate past president of the California Council of the Blind, an organization of which he has been a member for almost 35 years, and currently serves as that organization’s legislative advocate. He serves on the board of directors of the American Council of the Blind and the board of trustees of the American Foundation for the Blind. Jeff served as chair of the City of Sacramento Disability Advisory Commission and currently serves as a member of the Sacramento Regional Transit District Mobility Advisory Council and also as a member of the Blind Advisory Committee of the California Department of Rehabilitation. In 2008, Jeff Thom was named California Public Lawyer of the Year. He has also received awards for his service in the field of blindness.
2:00 – 3:00pm Panel Two: “Professionals at Work”
Unique perspectives and experiences as a professional with blindness or visual impairment in the workforce.
Kate Williams, Employment Program Coordinator, Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Kate’s passion is supporting blind and visually impaired job seekers to secure employment in the competitive job market. Kate experienced vision loss late in her career and has drawn on her twenty plus years of experience as an HR professional to serve as the basis for developing employment workshops and job coaching activities.
She served in an HR generalist capacity for ten years with a leading international pharmaceutical company, recruiting national field sales forces and executive management. Kate received special commendation for the recruitment and retention of minority employees. When relocating to San Francisco fifteen years ago, Kate begin a successful career in Executive Recruitment. She is recognized as a leading employment coach and motivator. Kate serves on the San Francisco Chapter Board of NCHRA (Northern California Human Resources Association). Prior to joining the Lighthouse, Kate worked in collaboration with Adaptive Technology to develop Employment Workshops for DOR consumers.
Gena D. Harper, Senior Vice President, Senior Investment Management Consultant, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Gena Harper is a Senior Vice President-Wealth Management and Senior Investment Management Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Berkeley, California. Undaunted by congenital glaucoma, Ms. Harper became a financial consultant at 22, and is one of the few blind professionals in the investment industry in the United States. Ms. Harper is currently a member of the Board of the Lighthouse for the Blind, has served on the Governor’s Committee for the Employment of Disabled Persons and in 1995 became the first recipient of The Glaucoma Foundation Award of Merit, which recognizes an individual whose life has been profoundly affected by glaucoma and who has responded to the challenge with courage and distinction. Ms. Harper obtained her Certified Investment Management Analyst designation through the Wharton School of Business and is an active member of the Association of Professional Investment Consultants (APIC) and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA).
Douglas Gerry, General Manager, A.T. Kratter & Co.
Douglas is currently the general manager of A.T. Kratter & Co. Inc., an adaptive technology product and service company based in Southern California. Douglas has been in the adaptive technology industry since losing his eye sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa in the late nineties. Prior to losing his eye sight Douglas worked in the restaurant industry and ultimately owned and ran his own small restaurant in San Francisco. After losing his sight he no longer felt the same satisfaction in this industry and knew it was time for a change in career. Douglas set out to learn the skills that are important to being a fully independent blind individual and quickly learned that technology was a main ingredient to success in his chosen career. Douglas is the beneficiary of support from the Department of Rehab who assisted him to obtain both the blindness skills training and the technology training he received right here in the Bay Area. Although Douglas currently lives in Orange County with his Guide Dog Jude, his heart is still in the Bay, and hopes to return one day.
Rick Watson, Lead Steam Fitter, HVAC Mechanic U.C. Berkeley
Rick has worked in the HVAC industry for over 30 years. The slow loss of vision from Retinitis Pigmentosa has forced a new outlook on life and career. With the generous assistance and support from his family, friends, the Department of Rehabilitation, and The National Federation of the Blind, Rick has been able to accept his impending vision loss through Assistive Technology, and training. Rick uses AT in his every day work life and is not shy about talking (bragging) about it.
David Hoffman, Material Components Analyst, Electronic Components Distribution
David is a 47 year old low vision employee of an international Electronics Components Distributor. He has been working for the same company in both Canada, where he was born, and in the USA, in the South Bay area for the last 19 years. David lost vision in one eye at a very young age to retinoblastoma, an eye cancer, and lost most of his vision in his other eye in February of 2009. David was able to maintain his position after his vision loss.
3:00 – 4:00pm Our Role in the Employment Process
Identifying and meeting the needs of individuals from a technical and training perspective:
Adaptive Technology Services
4:00pm Technology Reception
Please use this opportunity to meet with fellow professionals and experience the latest innovations in assistive technology.
The following manufacturers will be represented and we are grateful for their support.
Ai Squared is a leader in computer screen magnification and reading for the visually impaired. ZoomText 10 features integrated support for HD webcams as CCTVs, recording text to audio, background reading, and new standards in web navigation. Ai Squared is also the master distributor for the Chris Park handheld video magnifier – the “i-loview”.
Dolphin Computer Access
Dolphin Computer Access delivers independence to people with visual impairment and learning disabilities through complete
access solutions such as Dolphin SuperNova and the ultimate alternative format tool EasyConverter.
Enhanced Vision is a leading developer of assistive technology for the visually impaired including individuals with Macular Degeneration and other low vision conditions. They have a comprehensive line of easy-to-use and affordable products from simple hand held magnifiers to advanced video magnification systems that incorporate OCR, or text-to-voice capability.
Freedom Scientific is a worldwide manufacturer of a complete line of assistive technology products for those that are low vision, blind, or have a learning disability. Products include but are not limited to the RUBY, SAPPHIRE, and High Definition TOPAZ video magnifiers; SARA Scanning and Reading Appliance; PEARL Portable Reading Camera that works with OpenBook and WYNN 6 literacy software; JAWS screen reading software, MAGic magnification software as well as a full line of Braille displays.
GW Micro, a trusted pioneer in the adaptive technology field for more than 22 years provides products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Window-Eyes is GW Micro’s flagship product which enables people who are blind or visually impaired to use a computer independently. Window-Eyes has the power to help individuals reach their goals and achieve successful outcomes in education, in the workplace and at home. Window-Eyes offers superior support for popular applications including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access), Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Reader, iTunes, Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and much more.
Established in January 1999, HIMS International Corporation, originally known as HIMS Co, Ltd., is a leader in research, development, and manufacturing of assistive technology for more than a decade. Currently, HIMS has authorized Dealers in over 30 countries.
HumanWare provides products to people who are blind or have low vision and students with learning disabilities. HumanWare offers a collection of innovative products, including the BrailleNote Apex and Brailliant Braille display, the leading productivity tools for the blind in education, business personal use; the Victor Reader Stream and Victor Stratus products, the world’s leading digital audiobook players; the SmartView family of handheld and desktop electronic magnifiers; and myReader2, HumanWare’s unique “auto-reader.”
Irie-AT was founded in 2011 by Jeff Gardner, former CEO of ViewPlus Technologies. Irie-AT is the US Master distributor for the Index Braille products, Optelec’s Alva Braille Displays and the new Kapten GPS device.
LVI Low Vision International
LVI designs and manufactures low vision products in Sweden to high standards for reliability, simplicity and serviceability. Our mission is to make daily life easier for people with visual impairments.
Optelec US Inc
Optelec provides assistive technology for the blind and visually impaired, by reaching out with simple and effective solutions that improve the quality of life, independence and mobility for users. Optelec offers a range from desktop and portable electronic video magnification to text-to-speech and OCR reading and scanning devices.
Sendero Group are the developers of Sendero GPS for seven platforms, BrailleNote, Braille/Voice Sense, Pac Mate, Windows PC, Mobile Geo for Windows phones, and LookAround for iPhones and Android.
is co-hosted by
629 Divisadero Street San Francisco, CA 94117 Phone: (415) 409-6650 Toll Free: (866) 564-6650 Fax: (415) 358-4726 Contact: Chrissy Dodds
7665 Redwood Blvd., Suite 100
Novato CA 94945
Phone: (415) 878 2922 Toll Fax: (877) 878 2915 Contact: Lesley Ann Gibbons